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Access to Education
Public and public charter schools must meet the Title II requirements of the ADA. However, the ADA does not contain specific special education rules or requirements.
Frequently Asked Education-related Questions
Q: How does the ADA relate to other state and federal laws relating to education of individuals with disabilities?
A: The ADA works in concert with other state and federal laws affecting the education of students with disabilities. In some instances there will be duplicate coverage and an individual situation will be covered under more than one law, such as IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA. When this happens, whichever law or portion of the law provides the greatest protection for the individual with a disability will prevail.
Q: Does the ADA protect parents with disabilities as well as students with disabilities?
A: Yes. Public schools generally operate programs and activities that are open to students’ parents such as parent teacher conferences, school plays, athletic events and graduation ceremonies. Parents who meet the ADA’s definition of a qualified person with a disability are entitled to protection under Title I of the Act.
Q: A school district does not provide transportation to and from school for students who live within two miles of a school they attend. A student has severe mobility limitations and is unable to walk two miles. Is the school district responsible for providing transportation services for the student?
A: If the student requires transportation services in order to attend school, transportation services must be provided for the student. Transportation services that a student with a disability may require in order to be provided with a free appropriate public education should be addressed through the evaluation and placement procedures.
Q: Do Title II and Section 504 require that a school district provide bus transportation for children with disabilities to after-school or extracuricular activities?
A: Title II and Section 504 require that nonacademic services, including transportation, be provided in a manner that allows children with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in after-school or extracurricular activities. Where children without disabilities are provided transportation to and from extracurricular activities, children with disabilities must also be provided transportation. However, even where children witout disabilities are not provided transportation to an extracurricular activity, children with disabilities must be provided that is necessary to allow them to participate in the extracurricular activity.
Q: My school district is constructing a new school in my neighborhood. Will it have to be accessible?
A: Yes. New schools and construction projects altering existing facilities must meet the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, unless the state code has stricter guidelines.
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DOE Office of Civil Rights - Disability Discrimination Resources
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities - Disability & Education Laws
National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education - AccessIT
Office of Special Education & Rehabilitation Services - Toolkit for Teaching & Assessing Students with Disabilities
Office of Special Education Policy - Publications & Products
U.S. Department of Education - Year of College & Career for Youth with Disabilities
Association of Higher Education & Disability (AHEAD) - Moving Ahead: Transition Resources for Everyone
Please note - all publications open in a new window
Elementary & Secondary Education
Student Placement in Elementary and Secondary Schools and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (DOE) HTML
Q & A on the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 for Students with Disabilities Attending Public Elementary & Secondary Schools (DOE) HTML
Students with Disabilities & Access to Extracurricular Sports (OCR Dear Colleague letter) HTML
Transition of Students with Disabilities to Post-Secondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators HTML
Students with Disabilities Preparing for Post-Secondary Education: Know your rights & responsibilities (DOE) HTML
Supporting Accommodation Requests: Guidance on Documentation Practices (AHEAD) HTML
Auxiliary Aids & Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities (DOE) HTML